Here I’ve tried to simplify some of the basic shapes found in a
dog’s head. The two most basic shapes are a ball for the head
and a cone shape for the muzzle. Different breeds have
different head-to-muzzle proportions. Some have a very long
muzzle; some have a very short one.1
Demonstration: basic dog’s head
Draw a circle and put a plus-shaped mark inside to help.3
with proportions later.
Add a cone-shaped muzzle under the circle.
Add eyes, nose, and triangular shapes for ears. Make sure
the outline of the muzzle lines up with the outer eye
Finish all outlines. Add the mouth.
Add pupils and finish the drawing, erasing guidelines.Proportions
The dog’s head comes in many shapes and sizes, but the basic features stay the
same regardless of their proportions. Dogs descend from a wolf ancestor with a long
muzzle and strong jaws. Their sense of smell is keen. Their hearing and eyesight
aren’t bad, either, but the muzzle is usually a key feature in what makes a dog look.like a dog. Nowadays, dog muzzles come in all kinds of proportions, from the really
long snout of a greyhound to the short muzzle of a pug. Getting the shape and
proportion of the muzzle correct is a key part of drawing any dog breed.The Eyes and the Muzzle
A dog’s eyes and mouth are closely linked with the muzzle. There are protective
“cheekbones” that help surround the eyeball and jut out from under the eye socket.
They flow from the muzzle, under the eyes, and are just above the corner of the
mouth. The upper parts of the eye sockets also jut out over the eyeball. Most
drawings need to indicate this aspect of a dog’s anatomy to look three-dimensional.
The soulful eyes of a dog speak volumes. Perhaps no other
creature can wear such a soft, pleading expression that.resonates so distinctly with human minds and hearts. One
look and dog lovers’ hearts melt. Eye shapes vary, depending
on the breed, but are generally round or almond-shaped.
Dogs have a tear duct in the inner corner of their eye. Some
dogs have very dramatic dark skin around their eyes that
almost looks like human eyeliner.
Iris and Pupil.Depending on a dog’s breed, its irises may be light- or dark-colored, but all dogs have
round pupils. Often only the pupil and iris are visible to an observer, but sometimes
the white of the eye can be seen as well, especially if the dog is looking to the side.
The nose includes the dog’s nostrils and the fleshy pad of bare
skin surrounding them. This step-by-step drawing
demonstrates drawing a dog’s nose from the front view.
Start with the outside shape and two small circles for the
nostrils. Add a somewhat mushroom-shaped nose pad and
then fill in more details, leaving a white band on the surface
to indicate the shininess caused by moisture.Details of the Nose
A dog’s nose can be black or a light brown color, depending on the breed. The
surface is covered with tiny bumps and is moist and shiny on a healthy dog. From the
front, the shape of the nose is vaguely reminiscent of a mushroom slice. On the top
back of the nose, where it meets the muzzle, there is often a small, fuzzy dark area
(see arrow).muzzle and mouth
Dogs’ muzzles may be long or short, but all have the same
There is an area on each side of the muzzle near the nose that contains about four
rows of whiskers. The whisker follicles (the “spots” in those rows) are usually visible
(especially on shorter-haired breeds), but the whiskers themselves vary in thickness
and visibility. There are also faint whisker rows under the chin. In addition, there is a
small cluster of whiskers on the “cheek” area behind the corners of the mouth and a
cluster in the center of the throat. Some dog breeds have spots of different color in
some of these areas.
Teeth and Gums
A dog’s mouth features a set of long canine (fang) teeth as well as shorter, rounder.teeth that help tear food. Teeth wear down as the dog gets older. The teeth are set
inside the jaws, which are covered in pinkish gums. The dog’s lips surround the teeth
and gums and form the mouth. Notice in this drawing that the lower lips have a
serrated, jagged look to them. This is a common feature in the lower lip. The lip itself
is very soft, however. Lips vary in color from pinkish to dark brown or black and the
whole mouth is moist.
A dog’s lips can be somewhat loose toward the corners of the mouth. Some breeds
have a very jowly appearance, with the lips hanging down or getting slightly bunched
up when the dog’s mouth is closed. Here the lips protrude a bit and hang down from
the corners of a hound’s mouth (viewed from the front). Other dogs have lips that
remain fairly tight (not jowly at all) when the mouth is closed.Upper and Lower Lips
A dog’s upper lips hang down from the top of its muzzle. Cartilage and membranes